Category Archives: Entertainment

LeBron James Says NFL Owners Have “Slave Mentality”

NBA star LeBron James has been a reliable advocate for racial justice.

NBA star LeBron James has been a reliable advocate for racial justice.

By Malcolm Speaks

NBA all-star Lebron James called out the NFL team owners for attempting to suppress players’ political expression in an episode of HBO’s “The Shop.”

Mr. James said that “in the NFL they got a bunch of old, White men owning teams and they got that slave mentality,” reported multiple media outlets. “And it’s like: ‘This is my team. You do what the fuck I tell y’all to do, or we get rid of y’all.’”

He also spoke about the way NBA commissioner Adam Silver allowed basketball stars to politically express themselves on the court and compared it to the NFL’s attempt to stop players from taking a knee during the US national anthem before games in protest of police brutality and systemic racial injustice.

“It doesn’t even matter if Adam agrees with what we’re saying,” James said. “He at least wants to hear us out. As long as we are doing it in a very educational, non-violent way, then he’s absolutely OK with it because at the end of the day it’s the players that make the ship go.”

In 2014, while he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lebron James and other teammates protested the police killing of Eric Garner by wearing t-shirts that read “I Can’tBreather” while warming up for a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Then in October 2017, he wore athletic shoes that were adorned with the word “Equality” during the season opener against the Boston Celtics in reported solidarity with the NFL protests that were started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

NFL players have faced criticism, largely from racist, conservative Whites, including President Donald Trump. Additionally, the NFL also ruled this past May that players had to stand during the anthem on the field, but could remain off of the field if they wished. However, this mandate was suspended as a result of the players’ union complaint that it violated their rights.

Travis Scott to Play Super Bowl

Travis Scott is reported to be a performer for the 2019 Super Bowl.

Travis Scott is reported to be a performer for the 2019 Super Bowl.

By Free Radical

According to national sources, Texas based rapper Travis Scott will join Maroon 5 as the 2019 Super Bowl halftime act. The decision comes amid controversy over the NFL’s racial practices.

The NFL received harsh criticism for selecting Maroon 5 for its Super Bowl 53 show which will be held in Atlanta. They accused the league of being tone deaf for not selecting a Black artist to headline the show in a city where Black musicians have left such an indelible imprint locally, nationally, and internationally. The NFL has also been chided by African-Americans for its persecution and blackballing of players such as Colin Kaepernick. This is widely believed to be the reason why artists Rihanna and Jay-Z declined the league’s offers to headline the Super Bowl

Travis Scott has received backlash from Black artists and fans for seemingly ignoring this political context. Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill responded to the announcement that Travis Scott would play the Super Bowl by tweeting “For what????”

He then tweeted “He don’t need that he on fire already! Stay strong in this sh**!”

According to Variety, Jay-Z has also urged Travis Scott to decline the NFL’s offer.

Several Black artists including Andre 3000, Mary J. Bulge, Usher, and Cardi B have refused to join Maroon 5 for the halftime show according to theroot.com.

Several Black artists who have chosen to partner with the NFL during the Super Bowl have also been the subject of ridicule. Atlanta based producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri took to Twitter to vent his frustration with the criticisms he’s received for organizing the league sponsored “Welcome to Atlanta” concert series leading up to the Super Bowl.

“Ok, let’s get this straight,” he wrote, “all y’all hitting me talking bout I’m disrespecting the black race by being involve with activities during super bowl need to include all your other favorite artist as well, because every club has a artist,every corporate party has a artist.”

The concert series is open to the public and will include local artists such as YFN Lucci, Waka Flocka, K Camp, Trinidad James, and the Goodie Mob.

Other local acts such as Migos, Ludacris, and Lil Baby will participate in a Super Bowl music festival sponsored by Bud Light and video game company EA Sports.

Nonetheless, musicians who are more closely associated with political consciousness such as Killa Mike and T.I. have up do this point not committed to participating in a league sponsored event.

Eric Reid Protests Anthem Before First Game Back

By Malcolm Speaks

Eric Reid continues to protest despite being signed.

Eric Reid continues to protest despite being signed.

This past Sunday, Eric Reid played his first game this season as a Carolina Panther and continued to protest during the US national anthem by taking a knee. The Panthers beat the New York Giants 33-31 in Charlotte, NC.

The former Pro Bowl defensive back is also suing the NFL over collusion for keeping him out of the league because of protests with Colin Kaepernick.

During this past offseason, Reid went unsigned by all 32 teams after becoming a free agent, while only one team, the Cincinnati Bengals, even brought Reid in for a workout. Bengals’ owner Mike Brown allegedly asked Reid for assurance that he would not kneel during games. Reid refused and he went unsigned.

However, the Carolina Panthers finally signed Reid on September 28 and he played in their first game of the season this past Sunday when the Panthers’ pulled off a last-second victory. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said after the game that all he cares about is winning and he has Reid’s back.

“Anything he stands for as a teammate, I stand with him,” Newton said to reporters after the game. “I didn’t see a distraction today. You have to respect it.”

Reid also spoke about being back in the league and on the field while Kaepernick remains out of the league.

“It’s bittersweet,” Reid told reporters after the game. “We won the game, but Colin is home with my kids. He should be playing.”

Reid said that he told head coach Ron Rivera before the game that he would kneel and added that he was not asking for permission. Kaepernick chimed in on Twitter and acknowledged two other players, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson of the Miami Dolphins, who continue to kneel during the anthem.

Explaining his decision to kneel, Reid said after the game that the country has “made no progress” with regard to police killings and social justice in general.

“We’ve made baby steps, but people try to give crumbs and present them as cakes,” he said when interviewed by the Charlotte Observer. “So you can come at me with all the hate you want, but it doesn’t change the fact of the truth.”

Eric Reid knelt alongside former 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick during the anthem to protest the police killings of black people and people of color throughout the 2016 season. Reid continued to play for the 49ers last season and continued the protest.

Review: Pose

By Denmark Prosser

Pose harkens back to the 1980s New York ball scene.

Pose harkens back to the 1980s New York ball scene.

We have eventually reached the dog days of summer. This period is characterized by barbecues, hanging outside with your peeps, and all sorts of outdoor activities. Given this conventional wisdom, it is also a rather slack time for television viewing. Yet at the same time, it is a period when networks debut new shows to take advantage of a time when competition is more friendly. While many such experiments miss their mark, sometimes viewers strike gold. This is definitely the case with Pose.

The new show (well relatively new, it’s about six episdoes in. My bad, I came [fashionably] late to the party) is featured on FX and is largely the brainchild of Ryan Murphy. Although a White man known for shows such as Nip/Tuck and Scream Queens, he has shown signs of allyship. All of the profits that come from Pose is donated to LGBTQ charities. And although the show has a number of White execs, it also includes producers of color who either belong to or have shown a commitment to the LGBTQ community. This includes New York Times best-selling author Janet Mock and up and coming filmmaker Steven Canals.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, the show is ostensibly about the New York City ball scene in the 1980s. Yet, fittingly this is only a facade that lures viewers to the world inhabited by queer people of color. The characters grapple with the interlocking oppressions of racism and heteronormative patriarchy. These unjust systems are exacerbated in Ronald Reagan’s America where unequal distributions of wealth were unabashedly en vogue enough to give birth to the celebrity of Donald Trump (who is vaguely featured in the show).

While these themes are unmercifully villainous, perhaps the deadliest monster